Tomas Maier is known for his pragmatism. He doesn’t gush and gloss over his collections, whether at Bottega Veneta or his own line. He’s a realist. So a little real talk for his Bottega Veneta pre-fall lineup, shown earlier than ever: “It’s kind of a stupid name for a collection that delivers between May and June, right?” said Maier, during a preview at the look book shoot in Long Island City. He went on to point out the lightweight fabrics — silk crepe, gabardine, ultralight napa, double-faced cashmere jacquard and knits — mentioning that he views pre-fall as a continuation of the spring runway (his was fabulous) and a wardrobe update of things that women who come to the store will want at that time of year. That meant chic sweats for travel, neat suits, knit dresses and bags galore.
Maier’s no nonsense attitude was appreciated even if it downplayed the practical romance of the collection. Full of beautiful colors that ranged from dusty, faded pinks and purples chosen “because they look really pretty on the skin” to rich, bright orange, red and yellow, many of the looks carried on the Forties romance that Maier updated so wonderfully for spring. Asked what he liked about the Forties-style silk dresses with flutter hems and short sleeves, Maier said, “You put it on and it gives you some sophistication. The models here are like 20 and 25 and they said, ‘Oh this feels fabulous’ about how the skirt moves when you walk. It’s a whole different sensation.”
Just about every look had a new bag and shoe that matched. There was an ostrich skin bag, a snakeskin bag in a mosaic of blues; tiny bags, big bags; an important new style in cement-colored leather with a hardware knot. The shoes included gladiatorlike high-heeled sandals; printed retro pumps and styles crafted from layered leather so an underlayer of gold peaked through. It looked like it was painted but it wasn’t. “It’s a private pleasure,” as Maier said.